วันอังคาร, 30 พฤศจิกายน 2564

Northern Ireland goalless draw with Italy

Northern Ireland goalless draw with Italy

Northern Ireland goalless draw with Italy

Northern Ireland goalless draw with Italy

Northern Ireland produced their best performance of the qualifying campaign to earn a 0-0 draw

that denied Italy automatic World Cup qualification.

Substitute Conor Washington almost won it for the hosts in the last minute but his effort was cleared off the line.

Switzerland’s win over Bulgaria means they top Group C and European champions Italy must face a play-off for a place in Qatar.

The draw secured a third-place finish in the table for Ian Baraclough’s men.

Switzerland, who went into Monday night’s final qualifying matches in second place, came through to win the group by

hammering Bulgaria 4-0.

An outstanding second-half performance from Northern Ireland in front of a raucous Windsor Park crowd almost delivered a win

that would have been one of the biggest giantkilling acts in their history.

George Saville and Stuart Dallas had both gone close with good opportunities before Washington raced onto a long ball in the 90th

minute and beat the outrushing Donnarumma to the ball.

The Charlton Athletic striker was clean through on goal but he failed to catch his left-foot shot cleanly and it allowed Italy captain

Leonardo Bonucci to get back and clear off his line.

It had the entire home support on its feet and they were standing again when the full-time whistle sounded to cheer the players off the pitch.

Having said beforehand that he would not think about his international future until after the campaign,

home captain Steven Davis savoured the Windsor atmosphere before exiting the pitch.

Roberto Mancini’s Italians, who came into the match ahead of the Swiss on goal difference,

must now prepare for a play-off in March,

having missed out on the last World Cup by losing a play-off to Sweden at that occasion.